Avocado Hummus

Avocado Hummus
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  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, well drained
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled (13 oz before cored and peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
  • Red pepper flakes, for topping


  • Pulse chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I did a scant 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp pepper), add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 – 2 minutes longer.
  • Serve topped with more olive oil if desired and sprinkle with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

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Makes 1 (15 ounce) bag

1½ cups chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, dark is your choice)
1 (15.25 ounce bag) bag ridge-cut potato chips

1. Place chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl)
2. Completely melt chocolate until smooth and begin dipping the chips, about ½ way.
3. Shake off any excess chocolate and place chips onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
4. Allow chocolate covered chips to dry completely before serving.
5. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.dients:
1½ cups chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, dark is your choice)
1 (15.25 ounce bag) bag ridge-cut potato chips

1. Place chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl)
2. Completely melt chocolate until smooth and begin dipping the chips, about ½ way.
3. Shake off any excess chocolate and place chips onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
4. Allow chocolate covered chips to dry completely before serving.
5. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Master Bread Recipe

I am not a good baker.  But I love bread and over the years, I have tried to make different types at home.  Last year I found this recipe and it is awesome!  Easy and taste really good.

makes four   7  pound loaves.


3 cups lukewarm water

17 tablespoons granulated fast acting yeast (2 packets)

17 tablespoons  kosher or other  coarse salt

6-7 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour *

* (My favorite way to make this bread now is to use half bread flour, half a/I-purpose flour and throw in !h cup wheat bran into the dough.)

tip: After baking, if your bread is gummy on the inside, try either increasing the amount of flour by !h cup and/ or increasing the baking time by 10 minutes.

Mixing and Storing the Dough

  1. Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about l00 degrees F. Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours.
  1. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or a plastic container with a lid.

(Note: I dump all this in my KitchenAid mixer, let it mix it for just about 10 seconds and then put it in the plastic  container.  I just  find  it easier to let the mixer do this part).

  1. Mix in the flour – kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once, measuring the flour by scooping it and leveling it off with a Mix with a wooden spoon – do not knead. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes. The dough should be wet and loose.
  1. Allow to Cover with a lid (not airtight). Lidded plastic buckets designed for dough storage can be purchased many places. (I used a plastic square food storage container at my local grocery store. I just punctured a small hole in the top). You want the gases to be able to escape a little. You can also do this in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and puncture a small hole in the top. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on top), about two hours. Longer rising times will not hurt your dough. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. So, the first time you try this method, it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf.


    1. Let the loaf rise for about 30 – 40 minutes (it does not need to be covered). If it doesn’t look like it has risen much, don’t worry – it will in the This is called “oven spring”.hape your Place a piece of baking parchment paper on a pizza peel (don’t have a pizza peel -use an unrimmed baking sheet or turn a rimmed baking sheet upside down). Sprinkle the surface of your dough in the container with flour. Pull up and cut off about a 1-pound piece of dough (about the size of a grapefruit), using scissors or a serrated knife. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go. Dust your hands with flour if you need to. This isjust to prevent sticking – you don’t want to incorporate the flour into the dough. The top of the dough should be smooth – the object here is to create a “gluten cloak” or “surface tension”. lt doesn’t matter what the bottom looks like, but you need to have a smooth, tight top. This whole step should take about 30 seconds! Place the dough onto your parchment paper.


    1. Preheat a baking stone on the middle rack in the oven for at least 20 minutes at 450 degrees Place an empty rimmed baking pan or broiler pan on a rack below the baking stone. This pan is for holding water for steam in the baking step. (If you don’t have a baking stone, you can use a baking sheet, but you will not get the crisp crust on the bottom. You will still have a great loaf of bread. Baking stones are cheap and easy to find – Target carries them – and are a must for making pizzas, so go out and get one as soon as you can .)


    1. Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a This slashing is necessary to release some of the trapped gas, which can deform your bread. It also makes the top of your bread look pretty – you can slash the bread in a tic tac toe pattern, a cross, or just parallel slashes. You need a very sharp knife or a razor blade – you don’t want the blade to drag across the dough and pull it. As the bread bakes, this area opens and is known as “the bloom”. Remember to score the loaves right before baking.


    1. Set a cup of water next to your oven. Slide the bread (including the parchment paper) right onto the hot baking stone. Quickly pour the water right into the pan underneath the baking stone and close the oven door. This creates the necessary steam to make a nice crisp crust on the bread. Bake at 450 F for about 30 – 3 5 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf. Make sure the crust is a deep golden brown.When you remove the loaf from the oven, you will hear it crackle for a while. In baking terms, this is called “sing” and it is exactly what you want.

    l0. Cool. Allow the bread to cool for the best flavor and texture. It’s tempting to eat it when it’s warm, and that’s fine, but the texture is better after the bread has cooled.


    1. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded (not airtight) container and use for up to 14 days. Every day your bread will improve in flavor. Cut off and shape more loaves as you need them. When your dough is gone, don’t clean the container. Go ahead and mix another batch – the remaining bits of dough will contribute flavor to the next batch, much like a sourdough starter does!


Michele’s Slutty Brownies


Michele actually made these, but I found the recipe.  By Far the best recipe brownie.

For the Brownie layer:

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup AP flour

For the Oreo layer:

  • 1 package of Oreo (regular stuffed or double stuffed)

For the Cookie Dough layer:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • For the Brownie layer:
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix. Set batter aside.
  • For the Cookie Dough layer:
  • Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set dough aside.
  • Assembly:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan with tin foil and then spray the tin foil with a layer of baking spray.
  • Layer 1/2 of the cookie dough on the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies. Reserve the remaining cookie dough to be used to make cookies later in the day.
  • Layer as many oreos that will fit on top of the cookie dough. No need to overlap. One single layer will do.
  • Pour the brownie batter on top of the oreo layer and make sure it’s evenly layers on top.
  1. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. If the knife comes out clean, let the brownies rest before serving. If the knife comes out with batter still on it, allow the brownies to bake about 5 minutes more.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie

I had never mad a pasta pie, so after some research and trial and error, this one was the best.


1 pound spaghetti 1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Kosher salt

6 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)

6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese,  shredded (2 cups)

Butter for greasing


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al Drain well.
  1. In a bowl, mix the pasta, milk, Parmigiano, eggs, pepper, salt and 1 1/2 cups each of the Fontina and Scrape into a buttered9-inch springformpan, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup each of Fontina and cheddar on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  2. Undo spring form when it is slightly cool to the touch and serve.


Watermelon Sangria


  • 2 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon cut into balls with a melon baller and skewered on picks
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 6 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces Cointreau or other triple sec
  • 4 ounces Citrus Syrup
  • Ice

In a blender, puree the watermelon cubes. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Add the white wine, vodka, Cointreau and Citrus Syrup.  Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again, then pour the sangria into ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the skewered watermelon balls.


Citrus Syrup

  • 6 ounces Simple Syrup
  • One 2-inch lemon zest strip
  • One 2-inch orange zest strip

In a small saucepan, bring the Simple Syrup to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the lemon and orange zest strips. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight. Strain the syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Homemade Limoncello

I made this last summer and it turned out very good!  Good addition to vodka cocktails.

2 750-milliliter bottles of 100-proof vodka
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
14 medium lemons with bright, fragrant skins

Microplane grater or serrated vegetable peeler
A one-gallon glass jar for infusing
Large bowl or jar for mixing
Resealable bottles for the finished product

Step 1
Wash and dry the lemons. Remove the lemons’ zest, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. This is best accomplished with a Microplane grater but you can also use a sharp, serrated vegetable peeler. Save the zested lemons for another use.

Step 2
Place the zest in the glass jar and add one bottle of vodka. Seal tightly and let the mixture steep—shaking it daily—until the peels lose their color and the liquid turns bright yellow and very aromatic, at least two weeks.

Step 3
Strain the infusion through a double layer of moistened cheesecloth into the clean jar or bowl, being sure to squeeze the last drops of intensely flavored liquid from the peel. Add the second bottle of vodka.

Step 4
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Step 5
Add the syrup to the infused vodka. For cloudy limoncello, add the syrup while still slightly warm.

Step 6
Using the funnel, pour the liqueur into sterilized bottles, seal tightly and let rest at least one week. Additional aging will result in a smoother marriage of flavors.